Showing posts with label flowers of pakistan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label flowers of pakistan. Show all posts

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Purple Buddleja and Cassia nodosa

There are very few plants which grow well in summer heat of lahore. Our summers are constantly over 40C. But there are some flowering plants which take the heat very well. Here are some of the flowers showing their grace in our hot summers in June. This is purple dwarf buddleja. Probably a variant of buddleja followiana and davidii. It is fragrant and heat tolerant. Not all purple buddleja plants are heat tolerant but this one is. It tolerates our monsoon rains too. It is planted in my soil bed.

This is cassia nodosa, a tropical summer flowering tree. It flowers in our summers when there are very few trees in bloom. Ofcourse cassia fistula is another summer flowering tree. Cassia nodosa is loaded with flowers in summer. Young plants need protection from winter.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Heliotropium arborescens and Hyacinth flowers

Heliotropium arborescens "marine" is a a very fragrant compact annual/perennial flower. Flowers cover the whole plant and vanilla fragrance is very strong. I bought seeds from chilterns seeds UK and sowed the seeds in October 2012 and it germinated in November 2012. It started flowering in March 2013. An annual in cold areas but tender perennial in warm climates like mine. Not sure how it will handle the extreme summer heat and monsoon humidity but the fragrance is really worth it. I will save seeds if it forms seeds.

Talking of fragrant flowers, Hyacinth is very fragrant spring bulb. It grows very good as annual in lahore. It is also successfully forced in special water jars. It is amazing that each color of hyacinth has unique fragrance. Sometimes hyacinth gives second flowering stalk too but that it not often. Hyacinth bulb is not worth saving for next year and must be bought again.

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Garlic vine, Thunbergia alba and Sprekelia

Garlic vine is a beautiful climber from bignonia family. The flowers and leaves emit garlic odour hence the name garlic vine. Botanic name of garlic vine is Cydista aequinoctialis. It grows very good in Karachi and Lahore. It flowers in fall and spring. In my experience it suffers from pests in fall specially mildew so you may need to spray it. It likes hot and humid so Karachi suits it better than lahore. There are some mature specimens growing for many years in lahore. 

garlic vine

Another shrub growing in winter is Thunbergia erecta var alba. It is white color version of common blue Thunbergia erecta. Flowers are small but tub shaped and abundant.
thunbergia erecta alba                                                         
Last but not least, sprekelia formosissima is flowering in winter here in lahore. Its common name is aztec lily and it is a bulb from amaryllis family. It usually flowers in spring but maybe it is forced so flowering in winter. A good choice for hot climate. sprekelia formosissima

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Growing freesia in warm climates

This is 7th article in this series of growing warm climate flowering bulbs. Freesia is the most heat tolerant flowering bulbs in hot climates. And if you are new to flowering bulbs, close your eyes, plant the freesia bulbs and sit back to watch them blooming in a few months time. As easy as it can be. And it will not fail to bloom no matter what you do or don't do. A must for your garden. Here are few reasons why freesia is at the top of other spring flowering bulbs:
1- It is perennial. Yes, unlike hyacinth and tulips, it will naturalize in warm climate zones 9 and greater.
2- One of most fragrant flowers. Yes, it has one of most fragrant flowers among others. The spicy fragrance wafts through the air. And a few plants will fill your whole yard.
3- It is very heat tolerant. Unlike other flowering bulbs, which start withering upon arrival of summer heat, freesia will take the heat and continue blooming.
4- Offsets: Freesia produces offsets almost every year, so you will get new plants every year.
5- They are great container plants well.
6- Many beautiful color combination are there. 

Growing them is very simple. Prepare the soil having fertilizer and potting mix. water the soil thoroughly and let the water get absorbed. Next comes bulbs planting. Choose healthy bulbs, fat and firm. If there are offsets or child bulbs attached, do not remove them, they will flower next year. Plant them in well drained soil in fall. We plant them in late october and november here in lahore. Leave them in either full sun or partial shade, but not in full shade. They will flower in full shade but flowering capacity will reduce. Do not water again until you see green shoots appearing. Remember, water the flowering bulbs as less as possible until heat arrives.

Freesia bulbs

This one is in clay pot on my terrace.

This one is growing on my terrace in clay pot.

This one is growing in my soil bed.

Full double freesia bulbs have often less fragrance. The new hybird varieties have less fragrance although the bloom size is large. So go for semi double which are fragrant as you can see in above pictures, they are all very fragrant.

Growing freesia from seed: Freesia can be grown from seed as well. The seed sown in fall will flower in spring. Here in lahore, seed sown in october should flower in march and april. Very easy to grow from seed as well.
After freesia has flowered, keep it in the soil. Let the leaves get yellow and then shred all its leaves after it will go dormant in summer. You can keep it in the soil or dig them from soil, wrap in paper and place somewhere cool and dry. They survive in room temperature in lahore if temperature is not very hot. Plant again in fall.

Next bulbs: Sparaxis

Friday, February 25, 2011

Summer flowering annual plants for lahore, karachi, Peshawar and Islamabad

Seeds for summer flowering plants are sown in spring and plants bloom in summer. This time is specific for subtropical climates as that of lahore, karachi, peshawar, Rawalpindi and to an extent Islamabad as well. Morning glory vines is probably the one plant sown frequently for its colorful blooms in the summer. Zinnia is another one. so here goes the list.
  • Amaranthus. Local name laal saag
  • Balsam. Local name Gul-e-mehndi. Cultivars include Tom thumb with many colors
  • Capsicum, Ornamental pepper. Local name Araishi Mirch. Cultivars include Solanum Joker round, Dwarf early pylon red, Fips, Gion and hot mix. Then there is F1- Hybird with cultivar Treasure red F1
  • Catananche. Called cupid's dart. Most common species is catananche caerulea. Native to south africa a very beautiful flower. There is a white color variety called catananche caerulea alba. Seeds are not available here. The ones i grew from seeds will flower in summer of 2011. Will post pictures soon.
  •  Cosmos Sulphureus, sulfur cosmos. Comes in color ranges of orange, yellow and red. No white and no blue. The other variety of cosmos is cosmos bipinnatus which is tall cosmos sown in fall for spring flowering. Cultivars of sulfur cosmos include dwarf ladybird ans sunset orange. It blooms from May to october.
  • Coleus. Mostly grown for its foliage. Cultivars  include Rainbow mixture, superfine rainbow mixture and extra dwarf fairway mixture
  • Celosia. One variety is known as Cockscomb. Local name kalgha. Cultivars include Amigo, prestige, celosia plumosa century, dwarf kewpie, dwarf kimono, gloria mix and dwarf coral garden mixed. 
  • Coreopsis. Also called tickseed. Many cultivars but none of them is available here. It has long blooming season. Mostly in shades of yellow. There is a rare pink color variety named coreopsis rosea. Another cultivar having pinkish color is Sweet dreams and there is another one called american dreams having pinkish color. Coreopsis bicolor is also called calliopsis with flowers in two tone.
  •  Dahlia. Although it is included in winter plants but its seeds is sown in August and September for flowering in December till May. The ones grown from seeds are mostly Pakistani dahlia. While the ones grown from tubers are fully double flowers are called indian dahlia. Seeds cultivars include Garden pride mixed and figoro mixed
  • Datura. It is also called devil's trumpet. A toxic plant not suitable for growing in homes. Very fragrant flowers. Seeds easy to germinate. Some varieties are gone wild. Mostly in doubles and some triples. Blue and purple colors are most common. It is relative of Brugmansia which also has fragrant flowers and is also grown in lahore for evening fragrance. Both these plants might need protection in winters.
  • Echinacea. Another plant worth of being a perennial. Most popular species is Echinacea purpurea. It is also called purple cone flower which has purple cone shape flowers. There is another variety with white flowers and fragrant ones called echinacea purpurea white swan. One cultivar with very large flowers is called echinacea magus. There is also a double flowering variety in which another flower formed on the top of first flower. This is called echinacea double decker. No seeds of any variety are available here. My plants are due to bloom in summer of 2011 and will post pictures soon.
  • Egg Plant.Solanum melongena. Local name numaishi bengan. Ornamental squash. Cultivars include golden eggs.
  • Gaillardia. If there is one plant in lahore which can bloom whole year that is gaillardia. Blooming year round in lahore it is naturalized as perennial and not annual. Consider it as a permanent plant. It self sows easily and it is very easy to collect its seeds to grow more plants.Cultivars include double gaillardia, bicolor and lorenziana
  • Gerbera. Also called African Daisy. Grows in partial shade in lahore. Direct sun is not good for this plant. Many beautiful color combination exists with single and semi double and double flowers. Florist gerbera is the most beautiful of all and ideal as house plants. They grow well in pots. The plant does not like over watering and crown of the plant should be a little above soil so that water does not stay for long time.    
  • Gomphrena. Local name gul-e-makhmal or gul-e-tukhma. Colors include white red and purple. Cultivars include extra dwarf gnome
  • Ipomoea. Very fast growing vines. All are grown from seeds very easily. The variety most common is Ipomoea purpurea called morning glory. It is mostly in the shades of blue. If there is any climber which has so many color combination of flower then it is morning glory.It does not care about soil requirements, all it wants is full sun and water in hot summers, that's all. Another cultivar not common is milky way. Another variety is Ipomoea lobata also known as mina lobata.
    • Another variety which is very common is Ipomoea cairica called mile a minute. Another name is railway creeper. Its Local name is Ishq Pechan.
    • Only some of the varieties of ipomoea are fragrant. One of them is ipomoea alba called moon flower. It has fragrant white flowers very large which open in evening and close by dusk.      
  • Kochia. Local name Jawari. Grown for foliage which turns red in winter. Cultivars include summer cypress.
  • Marigold. Local name genda. It is sown first from February to July then again July to November. Flowers are mostly in shades of yellow with mostly double flowers. Two kinds are very famous. First is african marigold and second is french marigold. Bonanza series is most common of all. There is also an off white color variety but it flowers late and flower size is not very large as well.
  • Mimosa. Local name choi moi. Another local name is Lajwanti. Flowers are mostly pink or purple color. Cultivars include pudica.
  • Mirabilis.Most common is mirabilis jalapa. Called marvel of peru. Local name is Gul-e-abbasi. Flowers are fragrant in evening. It is a medicinal plant. It does not like water retention so it is grown in soil just above soil surface.
  • Portulaca. Portulaca grandiflora also known as moss rose has largest flowers in the genus. Local name is Gul-e-dupeher. Its flowers open only in sunlight and close in shade. There are two types, the native portulaca also known as dupeher boti which is actually a perennial and is not removed easily, you can think of it as a weed. Flowers of this one are opened in afternoon and close by evening. Color is mostly pink in this kind. The second one are the modern hybirds which are annual. Most common is F1 sundial mixed. Colors are in all shades. They are single, semi double or full double. Flowers remain open for most of the day hence called full day portulaca. It is very heat tolerant plant and can be grown with little or no water.
  • Passiflora. These are vines from warm climates. The most common is passiflora caerulea. It is also called passion flower. Flowers are very beautiful. Other varities grown include passiflora edulis, passiflora foetida and passiflora incarnata which is also called Maypop. These vines do not like fertilizer else they will promote leaf growth but no flowers. They love full sun. Young plants need protection in winter. Another cultivar of passion flower is called 'Incense' which has very fragrant flowers. They are famous for late flowering hence potassium should be given to the plants. One method of doing it is to bury banana peel under the soil.
  • Rudbeckia. Also called black eyed susan. Although there are many varieties of this plant including the one with red colors, it is only available here in the common yellow color. Recently there has been some seeds of bicolor as well but not common. There is a magnus type with extra large flowers of rudbeckia.
  • Salvia. It is also included in spring and winter flowers. The most common color is red which is most heat tolerant. Red color is more suitable to southern plains. Seed is sown from july to november.
  • Sun flower. Local name Suraj mukhi. Although a wild plant here but some cultivars are worth growing. specially the dwarf teddy bear and the one with chocolate color. There is a red color variety as well and then there is a white color variety called moonwalker. The bicolor variety is called florenza red. Seeds are large and easy to germinate.
  • Sterilitzia. Bird of paradise. Its plants are widely grown in lawrence gardens lahore. Very large flowers not suitable for growing in pots.
  • Vinca. Also called periwinkle. Another plant gone wild. Local name sada bahar. It is also called ratan jot here. It is a medicinal plant as well. It flowers almost year round and one of the toughest plants i have come across. It is difficult to remove this plant. Newly introduced cultivars include vinca victory and then there is a hanging mix suitable for growing in hanging baskets. There is vine from this family Vinca major not common here.
  • Venidium. It is relative of arctotis. South african native plant so very heat tolerant. Flowers are daisy type and very pretty. It is a low growing plant. Seeds are easy to germinate.It does not grow well if sown in spring. Its best time is sown in fall but it flowers into the summer as well.
  • Zinnia. Most popular summer flowering plant. Famous cultivars include super yoga, elegans, F dreamland, F1 profusion, Magellan F1, swizzle bicolors, lilliput and persian carpet. My personal favorite is the one i am unable to get seeds of. It is called zahara starlight rose.Zinnia cactus are also very beautiful having cactus type flowers.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Larkspur, petunia and calendula flowers

It is Spring knocking at our doors here in zone 10. Here is what is blooming right now.

Larkspur botanic name delphinium consolida. Easy to grow from seed. The one i got required staking. I am also growing perennial variety of delphinium (perennial in hilly areas only and not in plains) delphinium elatum and grandiflora but not in bloom yet. Growing them in 10 inches clay pots.

Then comes calendula officinalis locally called Gul-e-Ashrafi one of the earliest spring bloomers along with dahlia.

And last but not least, the lime petunia.

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